State's Bridge Phase

State Announces Bridge to Phase 5 of Restore Illinois Plan
Posted on 03/18/2021
COVID-19 Update

Governor Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced a metrics-based, vaccination-informed framework for Illinois to advance to Phase 5 of the state's Restore Illinois Plan, our new normal. In recognition of an increasing national vaccine supply and the state now averaging 100,000 vaccine administrations per day, Governor Pritzker also announced that all Illinois residents age 16+ will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 12th, with additional announcements to come about populations who will be made eligible prior to universal eligibility.
 
Currently, every region of the state is in Phase 4 of the five-phase Restore Illinois mitigation plan, with Phase 5 comprising a post-pandemic normalcy as detailed here. The newly announced metrics offer Illinois a bridge between the state's current Phase 4 restrictions and the "new normal" operations of Phase 5. This "Bridge Phase" will serve as a transition period with higher capacity limits and increased business operations, without prematurely embracing a reckless reopening before the majority of Illinoisans have been vaccinated. All regions of the state will move through the Bridge Phase and ultimately to Phase 5, together. The state's mask mandate will continue in accordance with current CDC guidance.
 
"COVID-19 has not gone away, but the light we can see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as more people get vaccinated," said Governor JB Pritzker. "It's time to begin to cautiously move toward normalcy, and it's imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all the progress we've made to date. With projections from the Biden Administration indicating that weekly vaccine deliveries to Illinois will surpass one million doses in April, it is fully in our power to turn the page on this dark and devastating chapter even as we race a tough clock: the new variants. I invite all Illinoisans to join me in wearing your mask and getting vaccinated when it's your turn. Step by step, we can get out of this the same we came into it - together."
 
"We want and need to move forward, but we must be measured and cautious in the approach," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "Rather than flipping a switch and saying we're now in Phase 5, we're looking at it more like a dial - dialing back some of the capacity restrictions that helped reduce transmission, and ultimately the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.  We don't want to move too quickly and risk a significant reversal of our progress."
 
"We are proud to have worked alongside IDPH and our industry partners to craft guidelines that will allow a safe return for some of the biggest economic drivers in our state," said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). "This measured approach to reopening under Governor Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan will help support a sustained economic recovery for our businesses and communities." 

Restore Illinois Bridge to Phase 5 documentation